Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Designated Smoking Points by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment with regard to the number of Designated Smoking Points (DSP) currently available (a) what has been their utilisation rate and effectiveness in reducing secondhand smoke to non-smokers; and (b) whether the Government will consider supporting and funding more DSPs at more locations including housing estates.
1 Designated smoking points (DSPs) are community-led initiatives. My Ministry does not monitor the number and utilisation rates of DSPs. DSPs may be used by smokers within their immediate vicinity, but their effectiveness in influencing individual smoking behaviour and in reducing the impact of second-hand tobacco smoke on non-smokers would need to be studied further.
2 DSPs help to confine second-hand tobacco smoke to areas that can be more easily avoided by the public. However, the proliferation of DSPs needs to be carefully considered and balanced against the risk of inadvertently normalising smoking, especially among youths, and exacerbating the public’s exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke if DSPs are not appropriately sited.
3 While we do not currently have any plans to set up or fund DSPs, we remain open to exploring practicable solutions to reduce public exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. The National Environment Agency will also continue to support community groups interested in setting up DSPs by providing advice and guidelines on setting up DSPs.